Juniper Research says there has been a steadying rise in security attacks on vulnerable mobile phones, with a consequent emphasis on the provision of preinstalled mobile security.
“The security risks of identity theft, the growing threat of mobile viruses and malware combined with corporate governance, state legislation and the increasing dependence of users on delivery and storage of critical data to their mobile phones will ensure that mobile security products will be installed on 247mn mobile phones by 2011”.
Other highlights from the report:
• Despite initiatives by mobile operators and police forces mobile phone theft will continue to rise with a forecast of nearly 4% of mobile phones annually stolen by 2011
• Revenues from mobile security products, including anti-virus, VPN, data and file encryption and mobile identity management applications, will generate almost $5bn worth of revenue by 2011
• The biggest mobile security market sector will be in the secure mobile content sector (anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and content filtering) with 40% of the total market
• Revenues from mobile data and file encryption products is expected to outstrip the PC market by 2011
• Mobile security products will go mainstream by late 2008/early 2009 Coincidentally, security researchers at McAfee have just encountered what is thought to be the very first example of spyware to target mobile phones. As with the viruses identified to date, the risk is low – the spyware itself is relatively crude, applies only to Symbian phones, and should be easy to avoid – but it is worrying that malware authors are moving from from destroying data and information to stealing it for profit.
The spyware, termed Mobispy-A, records incoming and outgoing SMS messages along with call records for dialled and received calls. The malware sends this data automatically to an account on a web server. Mobispy-A is actually based on a commercially available (and legal) program for monitoring call records, and the software is limited to a single target phone.
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